Seventy-eight. Yes, that is the number of Halloween costumes I’ve had to deal with in my parenting career. Certainly there have been costumes that have been re-used and handed down, but regardless, parenting six children through a combined total of 78 trick-or-treat nights has not been without its share of costume adventures and misadventures.

Parents can put an extraordinary amount of work into making elaborate costumes, or spend a ridiculous amount of money buying them. It begs the question – what do families do with all those Halloween costumes once the spooky night is over?


  • Turn to the Book of Face:

Yes, on Facebook there are many moms buy and sell groups. When you’re clearing out old costumes, post them on one of the groups. You’ll be helping out another mom and getting a bit back from your initial investment.


  • Costume Trunk:

I’m not gonna lie, I have one ridiculously good dress-up trunk. Between Halloween costumes and old dance recital gear, my entire family can turn into a freak show on the turn of a dime.


  • Donate:

There are many daycares, dance studios, children’s theatre groups and libraries that accept and love to collect old costumes for tickle trunks and dress-ups.


  • Look to the future:

One day you may enjoy little grandkids of your own. If there are any special costumes that hold sentimental value, keep them and cue the waterworks in about 20 Halloweens from now when you see them on the next generation.


  • “Go Green For Halloween”:

Start a costume swap at your school. People can bring in gently used costumes and trade them with other members of the school community. Better still? Have folks pay $5.00 per costume and make it a fundraiser for the school.


How do you survive the craziness of Halloween costumes – both the creating, and the disposing of?


Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless awards. Julie is no stranger to the media, having appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, CP24, among many others. As a blogger and writer, her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail, Profit Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Chicken Soup For the Soul - Power Moms and numerous websites. When she’s not juggling her busy family and professional life, Julie is an active volunteer and engaged community leader, who is passionate about women’s issues, mentoring young entrepreneurs, poverty alleviation and social justice.

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